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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

190                                             THE  HINDI? REFORM'SRS.
keep themselves as clear of It as possible. Thus, besides an occasional official,
there are in Brinda-ban BO followers of the prophet beyond only some fifty fami-
lies, who live close together in its outskirts and are all of the humblest order^
such as oilmen, lime-burners and the like* They have not a single public
mosque nor even a karbala in which to deposit the tombs of Hasan and Hosaiu
on the feast of the Muharram, bat have to bring them into Mathura to be
interred.
It is still customary to consider the religion of the Hindus as a compact
system, winch has existed continuously and without any material change ever
since the remote and almost pie-historic period when it finally abandoned the
comparatively simple form of worship inculcated by the ritual of the Vedas.
The real facts, however, are far different    So far as it is possible to compare
natural with revealed religion, rho course of Hinduism and Christianity has
been identical In character; both were subjected to a violent disruption, ivhieh
occurred in the two quarters of the globe nearly simultaneously, and which Is
still attested by the multitude of uncouth  fragments into which the ancient
edifice was disintegrated as it fell.    In the west, the revival of ancient litera-
ture and the study of forgotten systems of philosophy stimulated enquiry into
the validity of those theological conclusions which previously had been unhesi-
tatingly accepted—from Ignorance that any counter-theory could be honestly
maintained by thinking men.    Similarly, in the east: the Muhammadan inva-
•   sion and the consequent contact with new races and new modes of thought
brought home to the Indian moralist that his old basis of faith was too narrow ;
-    that the division of the human species Into the four Manava castes and an outer
world of barbarians was too much at variance with facts to be accepted as satis-
factory, and that the ancient inspired oracles, if rightly Interpreted, must dis-
close some means of salvation applicable to all men alike, without respect to
colour or nationality.   The professed object of tlie Reformers was the same in
A.sia as in Europe—to discover the real purpose for which the second Person
of (he Trinity became incarnate; to disencumber the truth, as He had revealed
it from the accretions of later superstition ; to abolish the extravagant preten-
sion.* './ A dominant class and to restore a simpler and more severely intellec-
tual £>r:a of public worship.*    In Upper India the tyranny of the Muhamma-
daas was t«»i> .Mn^ible a fact to allow of the hope, or even the wish, that the con-
auerorr and eonqaered could ever coalesce in one common faith : but in the
8 Tlr.1% ai it HIw be interesting to note, the Brahma Samaj of the present day is no isolated
worMUfr-t, >/ut ou',7 the most modern of a long series of similar reactions against currens: saper-